Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's Minister of Defense, has announced that the Colombian military has rescued 15 hostages from the clutches of the terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC. Amongst those rescued were former Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and American hostages employed by Northrop Grumman (Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, Marc Gonsalves). Betancourt had been held by FARC since 2002 and the Americans were kidnapped the following year.
Of course, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez had "tried" to win Betancourt's release (at the urging of French President Nicolas Sarkozy due to Betancourt's French lineage) but Colombian President Uribe clipped Chavez's wings when he spoke to a Colombian general behind Uribe's back. I wrote about this saga last November (www.intellectualconservative.com/2207/11/27/why-does-sarkozy-trust-chavez/).
How did the Colombian military do it? By infiltrating FARC, not negotiating with it or sending in anyone else to negotiate with it. Apparently the agents who infiltrated FARC convinced them to hold the hostages in a central location which gave them a window to do undertake the rescue.
This is very, very good news. In a mad, mad world this shines so very brightly. It might go down as most daring military rescue since Israel's raid on Entebbe in 1976.
All Americans and freedom loving people should be grateful for the bravery of the Colombian military. Colombia is without any doubt our greatest ally in Latin America. Today, it maybe our greatest ally in the whole world.